Author Topic: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.  (Read 3790 times)

Offline Rusty

  • loser mate whose french is a little.....Rusty.....n'est-ce pas?
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,996
Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« on: December 21, 2007, 04:26:23 AM »
While replying to myrlas' thread on how Rafa was making excuses and starting to sound like Houllier ca. 2003/04, I realised one of Rafa's strengths and why I think it will lead to us having a proper crack at the title with him at the helm. Namely, his ability to see flaws in the team and correct them.

I'll start by taking a look at Houllier's last year or so. By that point, it was painfully clear to the majority of fans that it was time for him to go; we all remember (and wince at) the comment about having way more corners than the opposition, and the post-match conferences where he described a game that it seemed only he was watching (while we had seen his team serve up yet another 90 minutes of insipid, lifeless junk).

A big part of the problem was that he seemed too stuck in his ways; there was always far too much emphasis on defence followed by a quick break, and not enough on varied attacking play. As a result we became one-dimensional and extremely easy for opposition teams to defend against.

This wasn't a one-off occurrence; through the majority of the last 2 years of his reign, pretty much every week we saw and heard the same old arguments about us only having a plan A, and when that went wrong we were stuffed.

Alas when GH tried to play a bit more attacking footy, it seemed to work for a couple of games, but as soon as we had a couple of bad results with it he seemed to lose faith and reverted to type. He couldn't adapt to counteract a glaring deficiency.


Fast forward to Rafa's tenure. Every season there has been something fairly evident wrong with the team, yet he has been flexible and adaptable with both the tactics and personnel to combat the weaknesses while still maintaining our strengths.

2004/05 saw some of our worst away performances in a long long time, with an unacceptably high number of defeats. Rafa worked out what was going wrong, and added Crouchy and Momo to the team. Say what you like about them now, but the following year, our away form dramatically improved and we went on to notch one of our highest points totals for many a year.

2005/2006 saw us go most of the season with everyone still crying out for at least one out-and-out winger, and the debate about Stevie's best position raging on. Rafa realised we were lacking a wide threat and did his best to get a winger in before that season, alas finance scuppered that happening. The following summer in came Pennant (who had an unimpressive start but went on to be MOTM in the Champions League Final. Not a bad achievement). Also, the fact the Kewell has been injured so long has also hampered Rafa in getting us to play with a genuine threat from wide positions.

On to 2006/07. Yet again we had bad away form (which this season has been remedied such that we have the best away form in the League), but the main problem was lack of bite up front. And to be fair it wasn't just in 06/07, that has been a constant theme throughout Rafa's time here.

The point I have been building up to throughout this post is the following: Rafa knows as well as you or I do that we need to improve our goalscoring threat. However, when building up a squad, that is one of the last things that you do, as it is one of the hardest, and also tends to cost the most. I firmly believe we are entering (in fact probably have already entered) that phase of Rafa's squad building at the moment.


In fact if you look at when Alex Ferguson first started overhauling Man Utd, his first really significant signings were Steve Bruce and Garry Pallister, alongside Paul Parker, and of course Schmeichel. They was followed by Roy Keane, who was arguably the most important of all, and it was only later when the explosive forward firepower was added. And of course that was helped by having a crop of extremely talented, home-grown players (Giggs, Beckham, Scholes et al) all come through the ranks having played with each other for years, and more importantly, free.

I see a lot of similarity in the way Rafa has built this squad compared to how Whiskeyface built his up, and given that we now have the majority of an excellent squad I think we will start to see Rafa focus a bit more on the attacking side of things, as we have already shown that we have a strong backbone and a midfield that more often than not dominates the opposition's. One major difference now being that Rafa can splash out a bit more on quality attackers, as the rest of the squad needs less attention.

The big difference between GH and Rafa is that I believe Benitez is adaptable enough to shift our emphasis to attacking football far more than Houllier was able to; for that reason I think Rafa is definitely the man to take us forward, and I expect the comments about us "dominating but not taking our chances" will become fewer and less vocal throughout this season and in seasons to come.



He's made Kaizer wet himself with excitement then cry when he realises all in one post. Ban him? Knight him in the new year's honours!

Offline Liverbird 2010

  • but you can call me....likes to giggle a lot but only if it's about fellatio
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,436
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2007, 05:05:24 AM »
I dont know about Rafa identifying our problems but we need a new striker one that can score goals when Torres is not playing.

We seem to hit this snag for a few years now, when Torres & gerrard dont play I dont know where we are going to get goals from.

Its a serious problem that needs addressing immediatley in January.
FOOTBALL IS A LIE! RAFAEL BENITEZ :-)

Offline lookieman

  • Kopite
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2007, 05:29:23 AM »
I dont know about Rafa identifying our problems but we need a new striker one that can score goals when Torres is not playing.

We seem to hit this snag for a few years now, when Torres & gerrard dont play I dont know where we are going to get goals from.

Its a serious problem that needs addressing immediatley in January.

A good striker does not really go on trees though and to find someone that fits into the "Rafa" mould, that might be even harder. Add to the fact these strikers do not come cheap....


Offline theCanadian

  • Potential grass
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,583
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2007, 06:12:20 AM »
This building football teams thing is expensive.

Rafa needs money.

I think that as long as he starts to really focus his spending, as he did this past summer, on 'bigger' signings above 10m who will be game-changers like Babel and Torres then we'll start to see the looks of a title-winning team.
'
Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. - Rachel Carson

Offline SMD

  • Shit streamer. Can't be found by drive man.
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,290
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2007, 06:13:42 AM »
Just to build on your point, if we look at the players Rafa's failed to sign as well as our signings over the last few years, it's clear he knows where our weaknesses are.

He wanted Simao and Malouda. He bought Pennant and still went in for wingers. He went for Mascherano even though we had Sissoko. We've been in for Milito, Garay, Vidic, etc. Alves and numerous left backs have been chased. We got Arbeloa who turned out to be magnificent but we know that Rafa is looking at both full back positions.

Strikers...oh the strikers. We've been linked with upwards of 15 strikers. We signed Voronin, Crouch, Kuyt, Bellamy and some youngsters and we're still looking to improve on them all.

The point is, Rafa knows when a player doesn't cut it. There's no point in him going "you're all shite" when he can still use the players he has to mount a challenge.

His actions do speak louder than his words. And that's re-assuring. The only problem is the players seemingly getting these bouts of "oh fuck it, we're shit".
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Offline lionel_messias

  • likes pulling cocker spaniels out of Kim Kardassian's ass
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,004
  • Left-back upgrade and versatile forward please.
    • Recent Film Reviews
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2007, 06:13:42 AM »
A good striker does not really go on trees though and to find someone that fits into the "Rafa" mould, that might be even harder. Add to the fact these strikers do not come cheap....



Alfonso Alves from Heereven
Follow me on twatter: @JDMessias

Offline lookieman

  • Kopite
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2007, 07:34:26 AM »
Alfonso Alves from Heereven

We don't really know if he is cheap is he now? By all accounts he seems to be doing really well banging in the goals for his club and I can imagine those kind of performance won't come cheap for any prospective clubs trying to lure him to move.

Offline Tuckwoor

  • Anny Roader
  • ***
  • Posts: 438
  • We all Live in a Red and White Kop
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2007, 07:55:55 AM »
Buy Elano

*starts campaign*
*realises sven will never let him go*
*ends campaign*

:(

Offline Degs

  • sy's midnight runners.
  • RAWK Writer
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,439
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2007, 08:01:58 AM »
Problem #1:
Yanks

Rafa's solution:
Lottery Tickets, lots of 'em.

(actually a lottery is more of a Parry solution)

Online redmark

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,011
    • Save Liverpool FC
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2007, 08:06:05 AM »
In fact if you look at when Alex Ferguson first started overhauling Man Utd, his first really significant signings were Steve Bruce and Garry Pallister, alongside Paul Parker, and of course Schmeichel. They was followed by Roy Keane, who was arguably the most important of all, and it was only later when the explosive forward firepower was added. And of course that was helped by having a crop of extremely talented, home-grown players (Giggs, Beckham, Scholes et al) all come through the ranks having played with each other for years, and more importantly, free.

I see a lot of similarity in the way Rafa has built this squad compared to how Whiskeyface built his up, and given that we now have the majority of an excellent squad I think we will start to see Rafa focus a bit more on the attacking side of things, as we have already shown that we have a strong backbone and a midfield that more often than not dominates the opposition's. One major difference now being that Rafa can splash out a bit more on quality attackers, as the rest of the squad needs less attention.

The chronology of Ferguson's signings - and it's comparison with Rafa - is a little off.

Brian McClair was signed in his first year, along with Bruce and the short term Viv Anderson. Mark Hughes then followed, a year before Pallister. Irwin arrived in 1990, Parker and Schmeichel (only after Leighton, Bosnich and loan deals for Les Sealey) didn't arrive until 1991. A number of significant (financially or successfully) midfield/attacking signings had already been made before the defence was finished - Hughes and McClair already mentioned, plus Phelan, Webb, Ince and Wallace in 1989. The point being that there really was no deliberate focusing on 'defence first', money was also spent on midfield and attacking players very early in Ferguson's reign; Roy Keane, far from arriving 'before all the explosive firepower', was virtually the last piece in the jigsaw - a year later than even Cantona, by which time the homegrown youngsters were all on the fringes of the squad in addition to the big signings.

Similarly, Rafa spent money early on attacking options and has continued to do so: Cisse, who he reportedly had the option not to complete after taking over, plus Garcia, then Morientes, then Crouch, then Bellamy, then Kuyt; in midfield Alonso (and even Sissoko, who wasn't exactly dirt cheap). The question in these positions (and later players such as Pennant, Benayoun and the continued belief in Kewell) is whether Rafa's judgement has been quite right, or whether he favoured quantity over quality. The contrast in fact with defence (completely different to Ferguson) is that Rafa didn't actually need to buy defenders for quite a while at all: Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia and Riise (the most used back 4 during his management and still 2 or 3 of the first choice now) were all infact here before Rafa himself.
We Are Liverpool.

Offline zzpoolfan

  • Main Stander
  • **
  • Posts: 117
  • We all Live in a Red and White Kop
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2007, 08:10:16 AM »
There're too many holes to fill and Benitez just couldn't spend 25 mil on one solid bet.  He also had to sell first, so he couldn't go ahead for just one quality buy.  It probably isn't quantity vs. quality, but just the situation forbade him from choosing quality in quantity. 

Offline Sweet Silver Song

  • Rotation, rotation, rotation....
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,719
  • Proud not to be a hypocrite...
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2007, 08:10:52 AM »
I personally think rafa has an eye for a very good players similar to uncle Bob, in most positions on the pitch. The problem is he's less assured when it comes to strikers. Goalkeeper, defenders and midfielders he very rarely gets it wrong. They all seem to be able to come in and make an instant impact. But look at his success up front. Morientas, Bellemy, Kuyt, Crouch, Voronin. The only one you can say has been a outstanding has been Torres. The rest haven't been poor, but equally have they been that much better than what they replaced? And certainly not in the class of players signed by Rafa in other positions like Alonso, Reina, Arbeloa, Agger etc.  But having said that , he probably hasn't wasted too much money. He made a profit on Bellemy, and may well do so if he sells Crouch and certainly will with Voroin. Morientas was a slight loss, and i think it's unlikely anyone will pay 10m for Kuyt.
*With such simplicity the European cup is won.
**Sour-ness, will he get a shot? Now Dalglish...across the face of the goaaaalllll!
***Alan Kennedy!...He goes on...he scores!
****Liverpool need a Grobbelaar save...or a Conti miss. They've got a Conti miss!
*****And Liverpool have won it! They're back...outsiders all the way...

Online redmark

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,011
    • Save Liverpool FC
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2007, 08:24:17 AM »
There're too many holes to fill and Benitez just couldn't spend 25 mil on one solid bet.  He also had to sell first, so he couldn't go ahead for just one quality buy.  It probably isn't quantity vs. quality, but just the situation forbade him from choosing quality in quantity. 

Posted it elsewhere a few times recently, but I disagree to an extent: sometimes it has been choice rather than necessity. We have a bigger squad than United or Arsenal, with more/too many 'established players' who each cost a few million to buy and earning a million or two a year in wages. Cut out 3 or 4 of those from the squad at any one time (probably 6 or 7 unnecessary signings in his time, or splitting money over two average players - like 12m on Pennant/Benayoun, plus wages), and you save a significant sum that could have been better focused on better players.
We Are Liverpool.

Offline worthers

  • originals
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,043
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2007, 09:25:23 AM »
Good piece. But my problem is still the ability (though improved) to defend set pieces, but i don't mean simply hoofing the ball away, but start a counter attack consitently.

Equally at the other end, again although improved, some of the standard of our offensive set-pieces is offensive, particularly corners, still. I just don't see the kind of creativity that i expect from the standard of our players.
"We can not walk alone" Martin Luther King 1963

In nine years, Paisley won three European Cups, a Uefa Cup, six League titles and three League Cups. He won three European Cups in nine years, while Mr Ferguson has managed two in 24.

Offline LES

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,254
  • We all live in a Red and White Kop
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2007, 09:37:44 AM »
I agree that Rafa has the ability to both identify problems during the game and spot good players, but why he always waits till 60 mins before a change baffles me as regards to the players, its clear his hands will always be tied.
THE IS FUTURE IS RAFANTANSTIC

Offline ben

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,325
  • dont you know who i think i am?
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2007, 10:00:45 AM »
we haven't had a top class wide player since he arrived at the club. he needs to get that sorted asap.

Offline woof

  • Barking up the wrong tree.
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,505
  • ..and on the 8th day, God made LFC and it was good
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2007, 10:50:48 AM »
Rusty, I enjoyed your post, mate.

Yes, I've also made the conclusion that the next dimension to add to the team is goal-threats, hopefully some with pace. If you looked at Scums, Chelskis & Arse, they are multiple goal-threats. The Scums, unfortunately, have the best firepower in the league with Tevez, Shrek & Ronaldo. I can mention Giggs & Scholes but they are at the twilight of their careers. We only have Torres & Gerrard. Babel is not quite there yet but will be someday.

I hope Rafa gets an extension to his contract and continue to persist in building the "perfect" team.

Offline woof

  • Barking up the wrong tree.
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,505
  • ..and on the 8th day, God made LFC and it was good
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2007, 10:51:37 AM »
we haven't had a top class wide player since he arrived at the club. he needs to get that sorted asap.
Trouble is a good winger who can score goals are pretty rare. Any names to throw into the hat?

Offline b_joseph

  • Unloyal gloryhunter who was probably Kelly Osbourne in another life.
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,446
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2007, 11:56:06 AM »
Trouble is a good winger who can score goals are pretty rare. Any names to throw into the hat?
Traditional wingers dont exist..but there are a few good players that could line up wide and score goals.

Van der Vaart
Ibrahim Afellay
Quaresma ( yes, I know he had one bad game at Anfield )

Just to name 3.
Dry sheets, ice cream, jelly beans....3 of my favorite things.

Offline Gaviscon

  • Kemlynite
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2007, 12:04:12 PM »
We need the next Stanley Mathews.

Seriously, we don't need wingers, we just need good players who are comfortable playing on either side.

Offline b_joseph

  • Unloyal gloryhunter who was probably Kelly Osbourne in another life.
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,446
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2007, 12:05:05 PM »
In this day an age..the best way to find good goalscoring threats is to bring them up through your own system.

We cant afford to buy the finished products, but we should be able to compete with everyone for the best 16-18 year olds on the planet.


Basically..just follow Wengers philosphy but be patient because it will take 3+ years to execute.
Fuck..look at Sevilla. Baptista, Reyes, Alves, Ramos, Adriano...they even had Suker, Zamorano when they were a young.
Dry sheets, ice cream, jelly beans....3 of my favorite things.

Offline Spanish Fan

  • Battles Babelfish Brilliantly
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,487
  • מגדל בבל
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2007, 12:05:58 PM »
The main problem with Benitez is his signings. Some of the ones he has made have been very poor. Liverpool would had been much better off if Benitez had concentrated on quality well known players rather than quantity, especially when he seems unable to find bargains.
利物浦, 리버풀, Λίβερπουλ, リヴァプール, ليفربول, Liberpul

Offline Gaviscon

  • Kemlynite
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2007, 12:11:25 PM »
The main problem with Benitez is his signings. Some of the ones he has made have been very poor. Liverpool would had been much better off if Benitez had concentrated on quality well known players rather than quantity, especially when he seems unable to find bargains.

Quality well known players cost quality money. Up until this summer he hasn't had that luxury and has had to take risks on lesser known players and get the best out of them. Some have worked, some haven't, just the way it goes.

Offline Spanish Fan

  • Battles Babelfish Brilliantly
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,487
  • מגדל בבל
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2007, 12:18:48 PM »
Quality well known players cost quality money.

Not necessarely. I can name you many players who became world class and cost very little money, although it is true that normally you need to pay big to get great (known) players.
 
利物浦, 리버풀, Λίβερπουλ, リヴァプール, ليفربول, Liberpul

Offline Gaviscon

  • Kemlynite
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2007, 12:26:32 PM »
You said he should have spent on quality well know players. Well, established names cost big money.




Offline Emo Phillips

  • Master of his domain. Enjoyed a young girl's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk. Resident of MILF Island.
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,438
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2007, 12:30:55 PM »
I personally think rafa has an eye for a very good players similar to uncle Bob, in most positions on the pitch. The problem is he's less assured when it comes to strikers.


But getting top class strikers for 6-10m is never easy. Berbatov is one exception, but he also appears a lazy bastard.

For what he's spent on strikers before Torres, Rafa's got an okay amount out of them. 7m for Crouch has been great business. The trouble is more about finding the blend up front.

But the fact is that until he had the funds for Torres, he couldn't afford the kind of striker who is that extra bit special.


The main problem with Benitez is his signings. Some of the ones he has made have been very poor. Liverpool would had been much better off if Benitez had concentrated on quality well known players rather than quantity, especially when he seems unable to find bargains.


Rafa's signings, for the money spent, have been superb. But he has had to remodel most of an entire squad, not blow all the money on 30m players. Say he'd bought a Veron or Shevchenko rather than spent the money on five or six players, four of whom may end up being great and two who flop?

Unable to find bargains? Lucas 6m. Arbeloa 2m. Reina 6m. Carson 750,000. Hobbs 750,000. Agger 5.8m. Aurelio, free.

You can add a dozen kids he's also signed, and still not come to the 31m Shevchenko cost.


KRAMER: "I'm at 1st and 1st. Wait a minute, how can a street intersect into itself? I must be at the nexus of the universe!"

Offline Juan Loco

  • down in Acapulco. LIkes 'em salty and succulent, the wee lambies!
  • RAWK Writer
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,989
  • We've got our valuation and we're sticking to it
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2007, 12:33:38 PM »
But getting top class strikers for 6-10m is never easy. Berbatov is one exception, but he also appears a lazy bastard.

And he's not top class. Don't forget that bit.


I'd be really interested to see who Rafa came up with if he was allowed to do his deals "quickly" like he keeps on going on about. By the sounds of things he/his scouts have identified plenty of players who are 'top class' quickly and could have had them for alot less than they eventually moved for, if we'd have been quicker in signing them. I wonder who to blame for our ponderous attitude towards transfers ::)
"It's the football philosophy that counts, not the system."

A fully signed-up member of SPAS
The Stuart Pearce Apologist Society

Offline Spanish Fan

  • Battles Babelfish Brilliantly
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,487
  • מגדל בבל
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2007, 12:34:00 PM »
You said he should have spent on quality well know players. Well, established names cost big money.


So, instead of buying 7 players you buy 3 and there you go.
利物浦, 리버풀, Λίβερπουλ, リヴァプール, ليفربول, Liberpul

Offline Gaviscon

  • Kemlynite
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2007, 12:36:42 PM »
So, instead of buying 7 players you buy 3 and there you go.

That's the romantic notion, until one of them gets injured and you don't have enough quality in depth.


Offline Spanish Fan

  • Battles Babelfish Brilliantly
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,487
  • מגדל בבל
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2007, 12:39:20 PM »
And he's not top class. Don't forget that bit.


I'd be really interested to see who Rafa came up with if he was allowed to do his deals "quickly" like he keeps on going on about. By the sounds of things he/his scouts have identified plenty of players who are 'top class' quickly and could have had them for alot less than they eventually moved for, if we'd have been quicker in signing them. I wonder who to blame for our ponderous attitude towards transfers ::)

If he is not top class no striker in the world is top class. I recommend you watch Berbatov on his own against City defense in the Carling Cup, a master class of holding the ball up, teasing defenders and finding teammates when heavily outnumbered (Spurs played with 10 men for most of the game). I haven't seen a perfomance close to that of a Liverpool second striker since Benitez took over. You Liverpool fans have not probably seen one either since Dalglish was around, the ones old enough to have watched him, obviously.
利物浦, 리버풀, Λίβερπουλ, リヴァプール, ليفربول, Liberpul

Offline cuppatea

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,117
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2007, 12:39:35 PM »
His policy has served him well defensively and he's picked up some great bargains down that end of the pitch. The problem is that in three and a half years at the club, he's signed just one top class attacking player, as well as one or two "good" ones and then a host of fairly average players that in all honesty, shouldn't be playing regularly for a team with title aspirations.

Now you can make the point that he hasn't had that much to spend, and it's a fair one (to an extent) but the squad in my opinion is bigger than it needs to be, and he could have quite easily sacrified 3 or 4 5m players for one 15-20m player of genuine top class ability. I'm basically repeating what Redmark has said here, but there's been a bit too much emphasis on quantity over quality, particularly in the attacking third.

Offline Juan Loco

  • down in Acapulco. LIkes 'em salty and succulent, the wee lambies!
  • RAWK Writer
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,989
  • We've got our valuation and we're sticking to it
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2007, 12:41:36 PM »
If he is not top class no striker in the world is top class. I recommend you watch Berbatov on his own against City defense in the Carling Cup, a master class of holding the ball up, teasing defenders and finding teammates when heavily outnumbered (Spurs played with 10 men for most of the game). I haven't seen a perfomance close to that of a Liverpool second striker since Benitez took over. You Liverpool fans have not probably seen one either since Dalglish was around, the ones old enough to have watched him, obviously.

I've seen Crouch do better against Arsenal.

And c'mon... "If he is not top class no striker in the world is top class", what about the ones that actually score goals, and not just in the UEFA cup? I think you're doing a disservice to players who aren't overrated, greasy prima donnas.
"It's the football philosophy that counts, not the system."

A fully signed-up member of SPAS
The Stuart Pearce Apologist Society

Offline Gaviscon

  • Kemlynite
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2007, 12:43:41 PM »
he could have quite easily sacrified 3 or 4 5m players for one 15-20m player of genuine top class ability.

I keep hearing this, but it's got to the be the most ridiculous, simplistic argument ever.

Online redmark

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,011
    • Save Liverpool FC
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2007, 12:45:06 PM »
That's the romantic notion, until one of them gets injured and you don't have enough quality in depth.

We have more 'quality in depth' than either United or Arsenal. Funny thing is, despite injuries, 'rotation' and 'tactical flexibility' a smaller number of our players played a higher proportion of total games in the league last season than either United or Arsenal. We pay - transfer fees and wages - more than our rivals and more than we need to, to players who sit on their arse for all but a handful of games.
We Are Liverpool.

Offline Spanish Fan

  • Battles Babelfish Brilliantly
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,487
  • מגדל בבל
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2007, 12:45:10 PM »
I've seen Crouch do better against Arsenal.

And c'mon... "If he is not top class no striker in the world is top class", what about the ones that actually score goals, and not just in the UEFA cup? I think you're doing a disservice to players who aren't overrated, greasy prima donnas.

Crouch played as a center foward, not as a link striker, and Berbatov could have easily scored a hattrick against them playing for Liverpool with Aurelio providing the ammo from the wings. Ah, Crocuh scored a nice individual goal. Berbatov has scored many. If you rate Crouch on the level of Berbatov we better stick to sarcasm ;D.
利物浦, 리버풀, Λίβερπουλ, リヴァプール, ليفربول, Liberpul

Offline The Nihilists

  • Bovvered
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,838
  • I will cut off your Johnson
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2007, 12:45:30 PM »
His policy has served him well defensively and he's picked up some great bargains down that end of the pitch. The problem is that in three and a half years at the club, he's signed just one top class attacking player, as well as one or two "good" ones and then a host of fairly average players that in all honesty, shouldn't be playing regularly for a team with title aspirations.

Now you can make the point that he hasn't had that much to spend, and it's a fair one (to an extent) but the squad in my opinion is bigger than it needs to be, and he could have quite easily sacrified 3 or 4 5m players for one 15-20m player of genuine top class ability. I'm basically repeating what Redmark has said here, but there's been a bit too much emphasis on quantity over quality, particularly in the attacking third.


Maybe. But he's tried to stretch to 13m for Simao and Alves - attacking wide players. And got nowhere. Is that his fault?

Torres is top-class. Babel could well be soon. Garcia had a brilliant goalscoring record. And Crouch's value has risen since he's been at the club.

I agree that if he'd pulled one or two more attacking aces out of the pack, we'd be laughing. But easier said than done. And it's not like he's tried.

Also, he lost Owen and got saddled with Cisse. Never the best start...

Offline b_joseph

  • Unloyal gloryhunter who was probably Kelly Osbourne in another life.
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,446
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2007, 01:17:05 PM »
That's the romantic notion, until one of them gets injured and you don't have enough quality in depth.


Having a great XI is more important than having a good squad.

A good squad has limitations, even if everything go's well. A great XI, can acheive anything, with the right amount of luck.
Dry sheets, ice cream, jelly beans....3 of my favorite things.

Offline RAFAMUSTSTAY

  • Kemlynite
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2007, 02:26:51 PM »
Trouble is a good winger who can score goals are pretty rare. Any names to throw into the hat?

Aaron Lennon is a good winger and with the right coaching would become really good. He has most good things that wingers need crossing ability could be improved but like I said with the right coaching he would become a very good player. Wish we had got him when we got Carson from Leeds.

As for strikers I would not look past Anelka, no one can tell me he is not a good player seems to have sorted out his attitude now. Anelka also on record saying he would love to come back to us.

Offline xavidub

  • Not on message, ennui
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,400
  • SOS Member No. 6218
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2007, 02:57:02 PM »
In terms of players I think he knows exactly who to buy, just hasn't had enough resources. Vidic for example.

Where I concerned is that 3 .5 years into his reign we still don't seem to set any value on free-kicks, corners or goal-kicks. At least not enough to bother thinking about how we might actually use them to score or launch attacks. Thats the only explanation for why we are so ridiculously wasteful with them.

You have to try very hard to see what's going on in front of your face

Offline cuppatea

  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,117
Re: Rafa's ability to identify problems and sort them out.
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2007, 03:01:02 PM »
Having a great XI is more important than having a good squad.

A good squad has limitations, even if everything go's well. A great XI, can acheive anything, with the right amount of luck.

Exactly.

A big squad is nice, but at the end of the day, you can only have 11 men on the pitch at any given time, and only 5 subs in domestic competition.

I'd rather have, for example, a world class player on the pitch, with my nan sat on the bench waiting to replace him, than an average player in both positions, which is what we have now in many cases.

People complain about our lack of funds, but what we have had has been spread a bit too thin in my opinion. We've sacrificed the strength of the team for the depth of the squad.

If you look at Man Utd for example, they've got about 10-12 players they've paid huge fees for and then the rest of their first team squad is mostly made up of players from their youth system. The likes of Brown, O'Shea and Fletcher may not be world beaters, but they're ample cover, and they allow Old Whiskey Nose to go and spend the bulk of his money improving the first team. Their squad players may be worse than ours, but their regular starters are certainly better. Case in point; last saturday, Man Utd had almost all of their money on the pitch, with only 2 expensive signings on the bench and none outside the 16 man squad. Our starting XI by comparison was a lot less expensively assembled, but we had over 50m worth of talent outside the starting lineup, about half of which never even made the 16.

At some point in the near future we're going to have to start selling a lot of these mediocre players and replacing them with those of much greater quality, and that task could have been a lot easier than it's going to be had we spent a little more on a little fewer players in the past few seasons, in my opinion.